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October 9, 2009
Dirk’s second marathon


Dirk and Gail review Dirk's “to do” list in the Bay Area before he heads back up to the mountain

The electrical wiring installation remains the current critical path in our mountain home construction. After our friend Dirk’s marathon of working on the wiring for an entire week at the end of September, Gail went ahead and scheduled our next inspection. Our building inspector Dennis would pay us a visit on Friday, October 9.

Unfortunately, Dirk did not complete all of his electrical work at the end of September. Undaunted, he arranged to spend another entire week up on the mountain from Friday, October 2 through inspection day eight days later. Russell originally intended to join Dirk for the first weekend, but bowed out at the last minute due to a Bay Area visit from our eldest son Cameron.

As a result, Dirk spent five days up on the mountain by himself. Among the many remaining items on his meticulous checklist, he was able to finish installing electrical boxes around the downstairs center chase, hook up exterior lights around the decks, and electrify all of the shutters.


Dirk meticulously arranged all of the electrical home runs to look nice and neat for the upcoming inspection

In preparation for the upcoming inspection, Gail drove up to join Dirk on Wednesday, October 7. (Russell stayed in the Bay Area to be with our youngest son Joss, who had to have all four wisdom teeth pulled at very short notice due to an infection.) In between helping Dirk with the electrical work, Gail also began to install flooring on the upstairs parapet, using some scrap Pergo that she had picked up on Craigslist.

         
Gail made a jigsaw puzzle cutting the Pergo to fit to the parapet;
Before and after

    
Gail's progress so far: the parapet now has Pergo flooring above the hall bathroom and boys’ bedroom closets

The big moment of inspection came on Friday, October 9. Dirk was uncharacteristically nervous about whether we would pass; he reminded Gail that he was not a professional electrician, he was learning as he went, he was building off of someone else’s work, etc., etc. Nevertheless, Gail was confident.


Zero hour: this is all the scrap that remains after wiring the entire house

Our inspector Dennis arrived and spent a good half hour going over the work with Dirk. In the end, he had only one correction request: to move one of the GFI outlets in the bathroom from floor level to counter level. With that, he happily signed off on the “rough wiring” milestone. Gail and Dirk were ecstatic, and the trio celebrated with dark chocolate Dove bars.


Our inspector Dennis signed off on the rough electrical, as well as a few other milestones

This was a tremendous accomplishment for Dirk (as well as a huge monkey off of his back). In fact, even as Gail departed Friday afternoon, Dirk stayed behind to continue cleaning up additional loose ends. Even more impressive, Dirk is already making plans to join Russell and Steve when they go up to the mountain next weekend; he wants to remain involved as the house continues to come together. It goes without saying, but we are overjoyed to have his ongoing help… and friendship.


Dirk with his trophy: a signed-off building permit

 

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